​Bishop Huggins says the newly-elected government
has not said "one word of compassion regarding
the plight of those who seek asylum here."

 

​Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee, today asked the community to “contrast these two images” from the Minister for Immigration’s media conference yesterday:
 
“As intended, the Minister did look very tough, standing beside his General in uniform, and with big banners about Operation Sovereign Borders behind him.
 
“Juxtapose this with young girls fleeing the Taliban, who prevent their education; Hazara boys who have watched their fathers and brothers murdered; folk who have fled the brutal regimes of Iran and Syria.
 
“Not once, not even as an aside, has the new Government said one word of compassion regarding the plight of those who seek asylum here,” Bishop Huggins said. “Our common humanity waits to break through the current discourse on this profoundly moral issue.”
 
Bishop Huggins offered one suggestion for the new Government:
 
“Draw the line under those who are already here, however they arrived. After security checks, announce an amnesty, so they can belong, access education and employment, be free to contribute to our nation.
 
“There are some 30,000 people in Australia, mostly young, waiting in various forms of detention. In this time of new beginning, as another Government tries to find the right balance between humanitarian objectives and the need to shut-down people-smugglers, let us accept these folk and give them a future.
 
“A gesture of some compassion, balancing recent images, would be good for our nation's soul and for our role in international leadership,” Bishop Huggins concluded.
 

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